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Crispy Slow Roasted Pork Belly

Dec 19, 2022 | 0 comments

Incredibly succulent, juicy pork belly and the perfect crispy crackling? This slow-roasted pork belly recipe is something special. It takes no time to prep, then just let the oven do all the work. Served with a sticky plum sauce, it makes a wonderful centrepiece to feed a crowd.

Square pieces of slow roasted pork belly on a wooden serving platter.

It’s hard to think of a more irresistibly juicy and tender roast meat than this gorgeous crispy pork belly. It’s absolutely perfect for special occasions and parties (it’s wonderfully festive on a Christmas lunch table) and a little goes a long way so you’ll get loads of servings out of it.

There are a couple of tricks and tips to get super juicy, tender meat and that lovely crispy skin. The first is salting the skin (ideally) the day before you want to cook. This is going to help draw moisture out of the skin, to allow that lovely crispy crackling to form.

We’re going to cook the pork super low and slow, to really tenderise the meat, then blast it for the last hour at a high temperature to form the crackling. While it does take time to cook, there are only about 10 minutes of actual hands-on time needed here. Just rub it with spices and salt, then pop it in the oven and let it do all the work. I’m serving it with a sticky, spiced plum sauce, loaded with Asian flavours which pair so well with the pork.


The great part about pork belly is that it needs very little to make it sing. A few cupboard staples and you’ll be on your way.

For the pork –

  • Pork belly. Use a good quality, free-range piece of pork belly here. To save time, get your butcher to score the skin for you.

For the sauce –

  • Plums. I love the flavour of plums with the Asian-inspired ingredients in the sauce, but you could also use peaches. You could also use tinned plums.
  • Star anise. This brings a lovely aniseedy flavour (it’s not overpowering though so don’t worry!) Leave it out if you can’t find it.
  • Cinnamon sticks. You could also use 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon if you can’t find cinnamon sticks.
  • Red wine vinegar. I love the fruitiness and colour this brings to the sauce, but you could use rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar instead if needed.
  • Sugar. Use white sugar – I’m using caster sugar but regular white sugar would be fine too.

How to make it

Mix the 5 spice and salt, then rub it all over the flesh side of the pork belly. Turn it over, and rub off any that’s gotten onto the skin. Pat the skin side as dry as you can, then scatter over the salt, rubbing it all over. Transfer to the fridge, and leave uncovered for up to 24 hours.

Add the halved plums, star anise, cinnamon sticks, sugar, fish sauce, red wine vinegar and honey into a small pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the plums have softened but are still keeping their shape. Remove from the heat.

When you’re ready to cook the pork, heat your oven to 150C/300F fan. We’re going to cook it low and slow for 3 hours, then crank up the heat to get that lovely crispy crackling at the end. Pat dry any liquid that’s formed on top of the pork, then transfer the dish into the oven. After 3 hours, turn the heat up to 200C/390F fan and cook for another 40 minutes, until the skin is crackly, crispy and blistered all over. Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

PRO TIP: Make sure you’re using a super sharp knife to cut the pork if you’re looking for even, clean slices. I like to follow the scored lines in the crackling to cut through it firmly and decisively.

Got a question?

Can I use something other than 5 spice?

You could use a mix of ground cinnamon, cumin and coriander in its place – use 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground cumin and 1 tablespoon ground coriander.

Do I have to salt the pork belly overnight?

You don’t have to – but give it at least 3 hours. The purpose is to dry the skin out as much as possible (salt will draw the moisture out) so that you get perfectly crispy crackling at the end.

How long will the pork belly last?

Once cooked, leftovers will be fine for 5 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftovers make brilliant tacos, wraps, sandwiches or dumpling fillings.

Complete your Christmas menu with these ideas

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.

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Square pieces of slow roasted pork belly on a wooden serving platter.

Crispy Juicy Slow Roasted Pork Belly

  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Incredibly succulent, juicy pork belly and the perfect crispy crackling? This slow-roasted pork belly recipe is something special. It takes no time to prep, then just let the oven do all the work. Served with a sticky plum sauce, it makes a wonderful centrepiece to feed a crowd.

Remember, if you’re looking for US measurements, use the ‘Units’ section below and click on ‘US’.


Units Scale

For the slow roasted pork belly – 

  • A large piece of pork belly (2kg/4.5lb)
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese 5 spice
  • 3 tablespoons salt

For the sticky plum sauce –

  • 400g plums
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Marinate the pork. Mix your Chinese 5 spice with 1 tablespoon of salt. Place the pork belly in a large oven dish, skin side down. Rub the mix all over the flesh side of the pork belly. Turn it over, then wipe off any spice mix that might have found its way onto the skin. Using a very sharp knife, slice thin lines into the pork skin, being careful not to cut too deep. You just want to score the skin so the fat can bubble up to the top and help create crackling. It’s also super important the skin is dry at this point, so pat it down with paper towels. Sprinkle another 2 tablespoons of salt onto the skin, and rub it all over. Place it in the fridge uncovered, ideally overnight (or at least 3 hours). 
  2. Roast the pork belly. The next day, remove the pork belly from the fridge and heat your oven to 150C/300F. Pat dry any wet spots on the skin. Prepare a large wire rack above an oven tray, and brush the rack with oil. Carefully place the pork on the rack, then transfer it to the oven for 3 hours. 
  3. Make the sticky plum sauce. Halve your plums, then remove the stones. Add the plums to a pot with the cinnamon sticks, fish sauce, caster sugar, red wine vinegar, star anise and honey. Set the pot over medium heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the plums are soft. You want them to keep their shape if possible, so don’t stir them too much. Set aside.
  4. Crisp up the crackling. After 3 hours, the pork should be super tender. Now we’re going to finish it off and get that lovely crispy crackling. Turn the oven up to 200C/390F and roast for another hour. After this time, the skin should be super crispy and blistered. Remove the pork from the oven. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before slicing and transferring the pieces to a serving plate. Spoon a little of the sticky plum sauce over the crispy pork pieces, and serve the rest of the sauce on the side. 


While this recipe takes time, the actual hands-on time is minimal, making it great for feeding a crowd on special occasions. 

The sticky plum sauce can be made a week in advance, just bring it back to room temperature before you serve. 

The best way to get nice, tidy square pieces of pork belly is to have a very sharp knife! Use the scoring lines as your guide to firmly and confidently cut through the crackling, then go straight down through the tender meat. 

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 240
  • Category: meat
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: asian


  • Serving Size: 200g

Keywords: pork belly, roast pork, crispy pork belly


I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.





This e-book includes my absolute favourite fakeaway recipes (popular takeaway dishes you can make at home!)

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